Weird but Delicious Gluten Free Alternatives to Spaghetti You'll Love

by AbbyFitz

Just because you're gluten intolerant doesn't mean you have to do without pasta. Discover these tasty replacements for spaghetti that will have you saying yum!

Gluten intolerance is a health condition that many people are finding themselves diagnosed with.

I accidently discovered I had a sensitivity to gluten just last year. Unfortunately, that meant I had to say goodbye to most of my favorite comfort foods, particularly pasta. My favorite Friday night meal was a salad, spaghetti, and garlic cheesy bread. I've longed for the good old gluten days.

But do you think I let a little thing like gluten get in between me and my spaghetti? Heck, no!

For a year I searched for a substitute for spaghetti that I actually enjoyed eating. Let me tell you, there's some weird stuff out there, but I've found most of them actually taste pretty good.

Now, if I could just find a gluten free replacement for garlic cheesy bread.

Zucchini Ribbon Spaghetti Noodles

Amazingly, it doesn't taste at all like zucchini.

I read about zucchini noodles in an old Suzanne Somers diet book I found. I hadn't long been off gluten, and I was desperate. All I wanted was a big bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce.

Yeah, zucchini spaghetti sounds gross until that's the only thing standing between you and a killer craving for pasta. At that point, you'll try anything.

Now, with the benefit of a whole year of eating them behind me, I can give you my unbiased opinion. Zucchini noodles are actually quite good, plus they're healthier than regular spaghetti.

How to Make Zucchini Spaghetti

It's fast and easy to make, so even the kids can help out in the kitchen.

There's several ways you can make your noodles. The easiest and most economic way is to use a vegetable peeler.

Here's how I make mine:

  1. Wash zucchini
  2. Cut off ends with a knife
  3. Run the vegetable peeler down the zucchini lengthwise

Cooking your zucchini noodles is even easier than cooking traditional spaghetti. Simply place your noodles inside a microwave safe dish and cook for 1-2 minutes or until tender. Don't overcook or your noodles will fall apart.

For the stovetop, bring a pot of water to boil. Add your zucchini noodles and boil for a minute or until tender. Top with your favorite pasta sauce.

I've found that a medium zucchini makes about a cup of noodles.

Once you discover that zucchini noodles are something that's pretty tasty, there's even a faster way to make spaghetti out of zucchini, or just about any other vegetable for that matter.

I've got a vegetable slicer on my kitchen gadget wish list. The reviews on Amazon are pretty positive and it's tipping me towards buying one. There have been some people even using it to make noodles out of radishes. I'm not sure how that would taste, but, hey, you never know.

It's reasonably priced, so I don't think it's something I'm going to do without long. The ability to make noodles out of just about every vegetable in my crisper is pretty darn tempting.

Organic Black Bean Spaghetti by Explore Asian

I'm not a fan of black beans in general, but when they're in spaghetti form I'll eat you under the table.
Cooked Black Bean Spaghetti
Cooked Black Bean Spaghetti

Aside from Cuban restaurants and a failed black bean brownie recipe attempt, my relationship with black beans has been limited and rocky. So it's no surprise it took some major thinking on my part before I took the plunge and tried black bean spaghetti.

I was pleasantly surprised. To be honest, it doesn't taste like traditional spaghetti. It tastes different, but in a good way. It's got a kind of nutty flavor that goes really well with spaghetti sauce.

I agree that black spaghetti doesn't look appetizing, but it's really worth trying. I'm pretty sure most kids will think you're cool when you hand them a plate of black spaghetti.

It cooks quicker than regular spaghetti, too. I just boil water like normal and add the pasta, but it only takes about five minutes until the noodles are al dente.

Explore Asian also sells mung bean spaghetti. I haven't tried it yet only because I'm not really sure what mung beans are and I don't eat anything I can't identify.

Ready to Eat!

Black Bean Spaghetti with Sauce
Black Bean Spaghetti with Sauce

Spaghetti Squash: Nature's Little Pasta Bowl

It isn't called spaghetti squash for no reason. It looks and tastes like wheat spaghetti.
Spaghetti Squash!

I actually remember my mother fixing spaghetti squash when I was small, but I don't think she ever used it as pasta with sauce. It was always casseroles.

Last year I decided to give spaghetti squash a try. I'd never made it before, and I was surprised at how much the inside of a vegetable can actually look like spaghetti.

If you've never tried spaghetti squash before, you really should run out and buy one. It truly does live up to its name. Not only does it look like spaghetti noodles, it tastes like it, too. I've even fed it to my son and he never knew the difference.

It turns out spaghetti squash is really easy to cook. Plus, one squash makes enough spaghetti to feed a small family.

How to Use Spaghetti Squash for Noodles

There's three easy ways you can cook spaghetti squash.


There's actually several ways you can prepare spaghetti squash. One isn't necessarily better than the others, it just comes down to personal preference.

The method I usually use is the roasting method. Just cut the spaghetti squash in half and place them cut side up on a cookie sheet. Remove seeds. Bake at 375F for about an hour.

How to Oven Roast Spaghetti Squash

Another method is the whole method. Take a knife and prick holes all over your squash. Bake at 375F for an hour to an hour and a half. Cut in half when cool enough to handle. Remove seeds.

The microwave method is by far the quickest and easiest way to cook spaghetti squash. Slice squash in half and place cut side down in a microwave safe dish. Add about an inch of water, and microwave on high for 12-15 minutes or until done.

After your squash is cooked, let cool, then take a fork and rake through the flesh of each half. Like magic you'll have spaghetti-like noodles. They're now ready to use as you would any cooked pasta.

Which Spaghetti Would You Be Willing to Try?


Being Gluten Free Doesn't Mean You Can't Enjoy Food Anymore

Simply replace wheat with healthy alternatives.

Since I began eating gluten free, I've really broadened the range of foods I eat. I now eat things that I probably would have never tried before.

Spaghetti made from vegetables? Yeah, I would have looked at you like you're crazy. But I've discovered these options are tastier and healthier than what I was eating in my pre-gluten free days.

Being gluten sensitive doesn't mean you are deprived, it means you get to expand your gastric horizons.

Updated: 12/26/2013, AbbyFitz
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AbbyFitz on 01/17/2014

Necessity is the mother of invention!

Tolovaj on 01/17/2014

It looks like gluten intolerance inspired many new dishes. Thumbs up to creativity!

AbbyFitz on 01/14/2014

I'm not sure if you have it or not. I did not know that zucchini was known by an other name. Maybe you can find it.

WiseFool on 01/14/2014

Hey, Abby. I love the look of all of these. I'd spied spaghetti squash on a couple of recipes before and was intrigued, but I'm not sure if we can get hold of those beauties in the U.K.; do any of my fellow Brits know? I suppose it might be called something different here, in the same way we know zucchini as courgette.

AbbyFitz on 01/09/2014

You're welcome! I hope you like it. It's pretty tasty.

Ember on 01/09/2014

I love how versatile zucchini can be. I use it as a ground meat substitute in vegetarian recipes a lot, like when I make vegetarian 'meat' enchiladas. I don't really eat most grains anymore, so I've been looking for pasta substitutes. I'm going to have to try the zucchini for it, I bet it'll be great! Thanks for the idea.

AbbyFitz on 12/23/2013

I was surprised too. Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention

Rose on 12/23/2013

I had no idea you could make spaghetti from so many vegetables - but of course you can, you just need to think outside the conventional!

AbbyFitz on 12/22/2013

My favorite sauce to put with zucchini noodles is Alfredo. It's really good

jptanabe on 12/22/2013

I love zucchini but haven't tried it as noodles. Sounds good. And yes, spaghetti squash is amazing - cooks into spaghetti!

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